Studying Good Practices to Lesson Drawing and Transfer: Introduction to the Causal Mechanisms Approach – A Proposal for Exchanges Among European Networks on Time-Oriented Policies

  • Giancarlo VecchiEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 15)


The work of an epistemic community, of academics and of practitioners, like a European network on time-oriented policies, refers, implicitly or explicitly, to the diffusion of ideas and good practices. However, the term ‘good practice’ is ambiguous, as it implies – for subject with learning and transfer objectives – relying on others’ accounts, which often are poor as they leave out significant causal factors (e.g. characteristics internal or/and external to organisations).

With the objective to clarify the theoretical opportunities in studying and to represent good practices in a learning perspective, this contribution presents, initially, a brief review of the public policy literature on lesson drawing and policy transfer. After that, it discusses a proposal to develop an approach based on the theory of causal mechanisms, useful to pursue an extrapolation strategy to adapt good practices in cases characterised by a different context in comparison with the original experience. Finally, a sketched case is illustrated, related to time-oriented projects by the Milan Law Court (Tribunale di Milano).


Lesson drawing Policy transfer Organisational processes Time use Good practices Milan Court of Justice 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Urban StudiesPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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